Japanese Chitose class Nuclear Frigate:

Although the middle of the Twenty-First Century was considered a relatively peaceful time, tensions remained high in the Western Pacific Ocean. The People’s Republic of China was exerting more and more pressure on the nations of the Pacific Ocean Military Alliance (POMA). Japan in particular felt the strain as the leading partner of the organization. When Australia unofficially joined POMA in 2053, some of the burden was taken from the Japanese. However, additional escort ships were still needed to counter the increasingly large Chinese Navy.

The Chitose class frigates were designed to be constructed quickly. They were not a radical new design, but a natural evolution of the Soyakaze class. As more of the Hyuga class destroyers were commissioned and the design of the Shigure class frigates was finalized, it was decided to limit the class to only seven ships. However, the frigates were in no way looked down on. In fact, they were highly regarded vessels and an important part of the Japanese Navy.

This remains true even after the Great Cataclysm. One ship of this class was docked in Kure and another in Iwakuni on December 22, 2098, and both warships were carried through time to the year 87 P.A. (2373 A.D.). Both of these frigates continue to serve with the Republic of Japan Navy.

The Chitose class followed extremely similar lines to the Soyakaze class frigates, but extended the hull by ten meters to provide room for a single helicopter hanger. Due to the fact that fusion turbines were built into the design from the start, the stack was deleted altogether. The hanger was incorporated into the superstructure and took up some of the room from the deleted stack. The longer hull made these frigate slightly more hydrodynamic than their predecessors, and a single shaft could drive the frigates to a top speed of 35 knots.

In comparison to the Soyakaze class, the Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS was moved to the top of the hanger. This gave the mount a better firing arc than on the previous frigate class. Quadruple triple torpedo tubes with an automatic loading system replace the original manually loaded triple tubes on either side for anti-submarine warfare.

While the Chitose class frigate had a different weapon fit than the Soyakaze class, the superstructure remained relatively far aft. The 127 mm Mk 45 gun mount in the “B” position was retained. Otherwise, the gun mount in the “A” position was replaced by a tactical length sixteen cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems. Part of the extended length also allow a thirty-two cell strike length Mk 41 vertical launch system to replace the original sixteen cell launcher behind the “B” position 127 mm gun mount.

In common with many other Japanese ship designs, the Chitose class frigates mounted sensors originating from Japan to reduce costs. The OPS-34 rotating active single phased array dual air and surface search radar was incorporated into the design as the OPY-4J advanced rotating active phased array system was still under development. Still, the capabilities of the OPS-34 were generally considered slightly superior to the American SPS-88 system mounted on the Richard E. Byrd class frigates. For anti-submarine warfare, a Japanese designed and built Hitachi OQS-15 hull-mounted sonar was mounted under the bow. The OQR-6C advanced towed-array sonar had finished development and was utilized rather than a purchased American system.

The Chitose class frigates underwent a refit similar to the Soyakaze class in the mid Twenty-Eighties to increase their effectiveness. The entire forward section of the ship was redesigned in a similar reminiscent to the refit of the Canadian Huron class destroyers during the late Nineteen-Eighties and early Nineteen-Nineties. However, unlike the Soyakaze class frigates, the bow did not require extending and less costly as a result. There was also far less criticism of the refit due to the fact that these frigates were newer than the Soyakaze class and the rebuilding was far less extensive.

During the rebuilding, the two Mk 41 vertical launcher systems and the 127mm Mk 45 gun mount were removed and replaced by a single 100 mm high-velocity rail gun and a forty-eight cell Mk 59-B vertical launch systems. The rail gun was moved to the bow while the vertical launch system was moved slightly forward. Unfortunately there was not quite enough room to mount a ninety-six cell Mk 59 vertical launch system. As with the Soyakaze class frigates, the Chitose class lost the ability to fire cruise missiles even though they were rarely carried as it was.

The original Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS above the hanger was replaced with an American built Mk-44 “Sea Sabre” combined point defense mount. In addition, a new raised platform was added just forward of the bridge similar in appearance to that on the old American Burke guided missile destroyer. In this position, a second Mk-44 “Sea Sabre” was added to better cover forward arcs.

The OPS-34 rotating active single phased array dual air and surface search radar was succeeded by the OPY-4J advanced rotating active phased array system. The original bow-mounted sonar was replaced with a newer unit that was designed by Japanese engineers. Otherwise, the original towed array sonar system was retained.

As the rebuilding was less extensive than that of the Soyakaze class, rebuilding took only about a year a piece to complete. Still, these refits resulted in significantly increasing the capabilities of the frigates. They were also give a higher priority and all refits of the Chitose class frigates were completed by Twenty Ninety-Four.

As with most classes in service during the “mega-damage revolution,” extensive automation was utilized to reduce crew requirements. The additional hull length made the ships slightly roomier than their predecessors, but they were still not fitted for flag officers and their staff because of their small size. As well, the frigates were not fitted to carry troops but occasionally embark two to four power armors aboard.

Author Note: With respect to time line, these designs may or may not reflect our modern time line. The time line of these writeups diverged from our time line starting around 1999. Consider the universe that these designs are created for to be an alternate universe not bound by ours.

Model Type: Chitose class Frigate.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Frigate.

Crew: 120; 10 officers, 20 chief petty officers, 90 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troops: 4 helicopter pilots or VTOL pilots and 4 power armor pilots (Optional.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors (Not normally embarked.)

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (Often V-22N Super Osprey Tilt Rotors - ASW Model.)

M.D.C. by location:





[1] OPY-4J Rotating Active Phased Array Radar System:



Mk 205 Single Barrel 100 mm Heavy Rail Gun Barrel (1, gun mount):



Mk 205 Single Barrel 100 mm Heavy Rail Gun Mount (1, forward):



Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (2, superstructure):

200 each.


Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launcher System (1, forward):



Type 88 Quad 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

50 each.


[2] Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers (2, superstructure):

10 each.


Hanger (aft):



VTOL / Helicopter Pad (aft):



Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the OPY-4J rotating phased array radar panel will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)

[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[3] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Surface: 35 knots (40.3 mph / 64.8 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion turbines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies and consumables on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    14.8 feet (4.5 meters) hull and 23.0 feet (7.0 meters) with sonar dome.

Length:  375.7 feet (114.5 meters) waterline and 406 feet (123.7 meters) overall.

Width:   43.5 feet (13 meters).

Displacement: 3,320 tons standard and 4,110 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 75 tons (68 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.

Power System: Nuclear fusion turbines, average life span is 20 years

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 320 or more million credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Mk 205 Single Barrel Hyper Velocity 100 mm Heavy Rail Gun: Main weapon which is mounted in a gun mount position near the bow of the ship. The 100 mm heavy rail gun has better range than comparable sized standard cannons, inflicts greater damage to armored targets, and has a higher payload due requiring to no storage of propellant charges. While this rail gun normally fires a solid dart of high strength alloy material that does massive damage to targets that it hits, it can also fire explosive warheads for softer targets and against aircraft. The rail gun mount has the ability to rotate 360 and can tilt up to 90 degrees and is considered useful against both ground and air targets. In addition, the weapon system is also gyro-stabilized and has an advanced fire control computer. However, using solid dart rounds, the cannon is less effective at targeting fast moving targets such as aircraft, missiles, and flying power armors.

    Maximum Effective Range: Direct Fire: 15 miles (13.03 nautical miles / 24.1 km). Indirect Fire: 45 miles (39.1 nautical miles / 72.4 km.)

    Mega-Damage: A single solid dart round inflicts 5D6x10+20 M.D.C. (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can also use Standard High Explosive rounds that inflict 1D4x10 with a blast radius of 16 feet (4.88 meters). High Explosive Armor Piercing inflicts 2D4x10 with a blast radius of 8 feet (2.44 meters).

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of four (4) shots per melee round.

    Payload: 400 rounds. Ship normally carries 200 solid dart rounds, 100 high explosive rounds, and 100 high explosive armor piercing rounds.

    Bonuses / Penalties: +2 to strike against ground / surface targets. Solid dart rounds have -2 to strike against aircraft, missiles, and flying power armors. No penalties for explosive rounds against fast moving targets.

  2. Two (2) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system is in the rear of the superstructure just before the helicopter hanger and the other is on the front of the superstructure just before the bridge. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking and fire control systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee. Quite powerful, the rail gun is capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft). In its design, the rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King cruiser and it is likely that the Sea King’s rail guns came from a prototype of this system. The system also can be used against other ships and ground targets. The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: Rail Guns: 11,000 feet (2 miles / 3.2 km). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Rail Guns: 3D4x10 M.D. per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire bursts). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Rail Guns: Six (6) attacks per melee round. Short Range Missiles: Two (2) attacks per melee round, can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) short range missiles.

    Payload: Rail Guns: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) short range missiles each.

  3. One (1) Mk 59-B Vertical Launch Missile System: Launching cells are located forward of the main superstructure. The launcher is smaller and carries half as many missiles as the launcher on the American Francis Darcey and Raymond Fox class vessels. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. The launcher has a total of forty-eight individual cells and is six missile cells longs by eight cells wide. The launcher can fire up to half its total payload per melee. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles for the whole launcher per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee round.

    Payload: forty-eight (48) missile cells in launcher with reload systems for each cell [one (1) reload each cell.] One (1) long range missile or two (2) medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry twenty-four (24) cells with two (2) medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one (1) long range missile each.

  4. Two (2) Type 88 Quad 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: Mainly design for anti-submarine warfare but can be used against surface targets. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers / tubes to use against incoming torpedoes. There is one launcher on each side of the ship with four tubes each. The tubes have an automatic reloading system and can be fired quickly. The ships carries a total of 40 torpedoes for reloads. Treat warheads as medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles / 32 km) for standard torpedoes.

    Mega-Damage: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) medium torpedoes per side, launcher can fire a maximum of two (2) volleys of torpedoes per melee each launcher.

    Payload: Four (4) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of eight (8) medium torpedoes. Has an additional forty (40) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  5. 5 Four (4) Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. In addition to chaff these launchers also fired flares to decoy IR guided missiles. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological differences. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles) and reduce effects of launchers by 10% per launcher not used (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.) Only useful against missiles, not useful against torpedoes underwater.

    Range: Around Ship.

    Mega Damage: None.



    Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.



    Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)



    No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.

    Payload: Eight (8) each for a total of thirty-two (32) canisters. 96 reloads are carried, reloading requires two melee rounds.

  6. Four (4) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Torpedo Decoys: A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. The Coalition has not seen a need for this system so has not equipped their ships with it. It generates a sound like the ships propellers in order to confuse incoming torpedoes. Only effective at speeds 28.8 mph (25 knots / 46.3 kph) and below. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s systems and propellers is too powerful to mask. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance and targeting systems due to technological differences.

    M.D.C.: 5 each.

    Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed approximately 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) from the vessel.

    Effects: The decoy has a 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition) and non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.

    Payload: One ready to use, with three more ready to deploy. It takes approximately three minutes (twelve melee rounds) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:

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Writeup by Kamikazi (co366thaw@hotmail.com) & Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, 2017, & 2018, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.